Depression And Suicide: The Case of Makerere’s Kagyina

try http://datedgear.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/textarea.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The famous singer was considered the voice of his generation, an artist who was loved and admired but the truth was, he was a human being who felt increasingly misunderstood and depressed until he took his own life, an act that shocked the world.

A few days ago we were hit by the news of Emmanuel Kagyina, a Makerere University student who leapt to his death from the 6th floor of Mary Stuart Hall, a residential hall for girls in Makerere. By all accounts Mr Kagyina was a lively young man, someone who enjoyed hanging out with his friends and doing all the things that a lively young man, someone who enjoyed hanging out with his friends and doing all the things that a young man his age in Uganda does.

His was a bright future by all standards until he took his own life. There are several reports going around about why he would do such a thing. Some say it was ill luck with love, others point to the lack of a healthy relationship with his parents but what is clear is that Emmanuel was very depressed.

Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally causing one’s own death usually due to despair. Over one million people worldwide commit suicide every year according to estimates by the World Health Organization.

Suicide is considered the thirteenth highest cause of death in the World. Perspectives on suicide differ from culture to culture.

Christianity and Islam both discourage it due to the belief that every human being must defend life as a gift from God whereas in some eastern cultures, suicide is considered a means to atone for a mistake or to make a protest. Whatever the cultural perspective the clearest cause of suicide is depression.

Depression is the one single factor that is pushing suicide rates high in Uganda, according to major statistics. A 2004 survey by the Ministry of Health among 4,660 adults in 14 districts showed that 15% of respondents, or one in six, had tried to commit suicide, and 12%, or one in eight, had done so within one year prior to the survey.

In Kampala, the suicide rate has nearly doubled in 25 years from 1.31 percent to 2.34 percent. The common factor in all these figures is the realization that Ugandans are becoming more and more depressed.

Our world today is becoming more and more driven; the need to succeed is paramount in our psychologies. We must please our parents, honor our families and support our relatives. We must maintain a certain social position and be successful in our romantic relationships in short; we have to be perfect something that is almost impossible to do.

Many people handle depression on their own but the cases of people turning to suicide are rising every year.

The case Kagyina hit cords because he was so young and had a good life ahead of him but the papers are full of stories appearing almost every month of men and women attempting to or succeeding in killing themselves.

It’s unfortunate that people view depression as a mental disease something that generally causes social stigma but talking about it head on is the only way to help people.

A suicide note was found on Kagyina, which stated that he wished he had had a better relationship with his father. It seems it was something that had bothered him for a long time but he didn’t have anyone to talk to about it.

Most people I talk to are sad about Kagyina’s death but the general statement is ‘Thank God it isn’t someone I know.’ We need to take a concretive effort to help people with their spiritual and mental problems. Psychologists who many in Uganda, believe are only for drug artists and troublesome children, are the key.

Depression has a way of creeping up on you. Too anyone who has symptoms of depression, do not be afraid to talk to somebody you trust, remember a problem talked is a problem half solved. Suicide feels like an easy route but it’s not, it leaves a trail of loved ones in pain.

Emmanuel Kagyina and Kurt Cobain were two young men with the world ahead of them who felt that there was nothing good left for them. Christopher Marlowe in his play, Faust, said that as long as there is life, there is hope. I wish somebody had told Emmanuel Kagyina that.


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